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    ALTON – A lifelong desire to help others, a commitment to know each of her clients on a personal level, and a drive to be involved with every step of her cases makes Simmons Hanly Conroy mesothelioma attorney Karoline Carstens stand out from her peers. It is her compassion and accomplishments both as a lawyer and volunteer in her community that have garnered Carstens distinction and recognition from the Illinois State Bar Association as a Young Lawyer of the Year for 2016.
    “Karoline’s significant settlement results, her exceptional lawyering skills and her commitment to the Illinois bar and Illinois pro bono community make her an exceptional choice for the Young Lawyer of the Year award,” said Perry J. Browder, a shareholder and head of the Asbestos Litigation Group. “Karoline works on all aspects of her clients’ cases which are filed in multiple courts around the country. Her work generates immediate results for her clients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma – one of the rarest and deadliest forms of cancer.”
    Carstens was presented the award at the June 18 ISBA Assembly Meeting in Chicago. Each year, two attorneys – one from Cook County and one from elsewhere in Illinois – receive the award.
    “We congratulate Karoline on this well-deserved recognition for her career accomplishments and for her outstanding contributions to serving her community and the legal profession,” said John Simmons, chairman of Simmons Hanly Conroy.
    Since joining the firm in 2006 as an associate, Carstens has assisted in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for her clients. Following her early work in the firm’s Complex Litigation Department prosecuting consumer class action, Qui Tam and pharmaceutical cases, Carstens focuses her practice on helping those affected by asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma.
    Prior to joining Simmons Hanly Conroy, Carstens served as an intern at the McLean County, Ill., State’s Attorney’s Office and as a legal assistant at Robert Half Legal, working on a lead poisoning case. She earned her law degree from Northern Illinois University, where she externed at the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford, IL and served as vice president of the NIU chapter of Amnesty International.
    A commitment to serving her community has been integral to Carstens’ career as an attorney. As a member of the ISBA Young Lawyer Division Section Council, Carstens helps procure sponsorships to benefit the Children’s Assistance Fund. She is also a founding member of Young Friends of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and serves as chair of the annual CLE Committee. For Simmons Hanly Conroy, she led the development of a pro bono program associated with the Madison County Pro Bono Guardian Ad Litem Program and the John Marshall Law School Veteran’s Legal Support Center Pro Bono Attorney Network. Her service to the pro bono program garnered her the Veterans Pro Bono Service Award in 2009 from the Supreme Court of Illinois and John Marshall Law School. Carstens also volunteers her legal services through the Madison County Legal Advice Clinic.
    ISBA Young Lawyers of the Year recipients must be ISBA members in good standing who have not yet reached age 36.

About Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC

    Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC is one of the nation’s largest mass tort law firms and has recovered more than $5 billion in verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs. Primary areas of litigation include asbestos and mesothelioma, pharmaceutical, consumer protection, environmental and personal injury. The firm’s attorneys have been appointed to leadership in numerous national multidistrict litigations, including Vioxx, Yaz and Toyota Unintended Acceleration. The firm also represents small and mid-size corporations, inventors and entrepreneurs in matters involving business litigation. Offices are located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Alton, Illinois. Read more at www.simmonsfirm.com.